1. “Ride Along” (2014)
Production Budget: $25 million
Domestic Total Gross: $134 million
Starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, “Ride Along” was an instant box office smash, taking in more than $48 million in its first week…more than double the cost of the movie.
2. “Malcolm X” (1993)
Production Budget: $33 million
Domestic Total Gross: $48 million
Spike Lee’s epic biopic infamously went over its $28 million dollar budget. But it was well worth it: the movie is one of the great black biopics of our time.
3. “Get Rich or Die Trying” (2005)
Production Budget: $40 million
Domestic Total Gross: $30 million
We understand why producers would give the green-light on a movie like this: at the time, 50 Cent was the hottest thing in pop music. But the movie, roughly about the rapper’s life, was a famous flop: only pulling in a little over $40 million domestically.
4. “Fat Albert” (2004)
Production Budget: $45 million
Domestic Total Gross : $48 million
The “Fat Albert” remake was famously flamed by critics. Audience members didn’t like the Kenan Thompson-led movie, either, grossing only $48 million domestically.
5. “Shaft” (2000)
Production Budget: $46 million
Domestic Total Gross: $70 million
Samuel L. Jackson was the perfect man to bring John Shaft to the new millennium. The movie opened number one on the box office charts back in 2000.
6. “Red Tails” (2012
Production Budget: $58 million
Domestic Total Gross: $49 million
It took Goerge Lucas over 30 years to bring the story of the Tuskegee Airmen to the big screen. When it finally did hit the silver screen, reactions were mixed.
7. “Dreamgirls” (2006)
Production Budget: $75 million
Domestic Total Gross: $103 million
Producers took a huge risk on “Dreamgirls.” The movie, which had an all black cast, cost over $75 million to make. The risk paid off: the movie was profitable, and it was one of the most critically acclaimed movies of the year.
8. “Life” (1999)
Production Budget: $80 million
Domestic Total Gross: $63 million
“Life” starred two of the greatest black comics of all time, Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence. How could it fail? We’re not sure…but it did. The movie, which was surprisingly a downer, didn’t come close to its $80 million production budget.
9. “Nutty Professor II: The Klumps” (2000)
Production Budget: $84 million
Domestic Total Gross: $123 million
Back in 1996, the Eddie Murphy-led “Nutty Professor” was a huge smash, making more than $100 million at the box office. So when the sequel came along, four years later, it came with a huge budget ($84 million.)
10. “Bad Boys II” (2003)
Production Budget: $130 million
Domestic Total Gross: $138,608,444
The original “Bad Boys” came out in 1995, when Will Smith and Martin Lawrence were still just TV stars. When the sequel came, in 2003, Smith and Lawrence were both legit box office draws, which explains the $130 million budget.